Toronto residents aged 70 and older will be able to book COVID-19 vaccine

·2 min read

Toronto residents aged 70 and older can start booking COVID-19 vaccinations at city clinics this weekend, the mayor announced Friday, urging those eligible to get a shot.

Mayor John Tory said the number of elderly residents signing up for vaccines has been decreasing since bookings opened to those aged 75 and older earlier this week.

"What we see each time that we come out and talk with people about this is a spike up for a few days and then it tails off again," he said.

The city has almost 30,000 appointments available over the coming week, said Tory, urging those who qualify to book their shots.

"We need people to sign up. We need people to get vaccinated," he said.

"The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner this pandemic will be over. That's why we are pushing so hard to encourage people who are eligible to get vaccinated right now – don't wait."

Starting Saturday, individuals born in 1951 and earlier can schedule their shot through the province's booking portal.

Appointments will be available at three of Toronto's mass immunization clinics this weekend and at two additional clinics as of Monday, officials said.

Some of the city's hospital-based vaccination clinics also expanded shots to residents age 70 and older this week, the city said.

Toronto's medical officer of health said provincial data showing that there hasn't been a single death in long-term care homes since March 19 demonstrates how well vaccines can work.

"That tells us that's not luck. That's actually the effect of the vaccination," said Dr. Eileen De Villa.

As of Thursday night, more than 71 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the province.

Ontario is currently allowing residents aged 75 and older to schedule vaccinations through its booking portal although some public health units have moved on to younger age groups using their own booking sites.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly attributed a comment by Mayor John Tory to the city's fire chief.